Graphic Business News

Ensure continuity of infrastructure projects initiated by previous govts

By: Graphic Business
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Prof John Gatsi
Prof John Gatsi

An economist, Prof. John Gatsi, has bemoaned the consistent trend whereby national infrastructural projects and programmes initiated by various political regimes are abandoned by their successors without justification.

He said the practice, which had been widely identified as a worrying trend within Ghana's political and economic governance culture, did not portray good governance.

At the Third Revolutionary Lecture Series to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the June 4 uprising, he noted that since most of the many abandoned projects were financed by loans, the practice encouraged gaining value for money and anticipated improvements in the socio-economic conditions of the country.

The lecture was themed: "Developing a National Character for Sustainable Good Governance".

He also added that paying loans on abandoned projects was not good governance.

In his view, the framers of the 1992 Constitution, conscious of good governance principles and standards, included them in Articles 34 and 35 (7) of the Constitution to guide the national character and all political regimes.

Remedies
Prof. Gatsi suggested two remedies to dealing with this major political and socio-economic problem that negatively affected dividends from good governance.

First, he called for the development of Article 35(7) into an Act of Parliament , part of which would require newly elected governments to, within their first nine months in office, submit to Parliament for approval a comprehensive report and justification on projects, policies and programmes it wished to discontinue for debate and approval or disapproval. That, he said, would greatly contribute to fairness, transparency, responsibility, discipline and accountability.

Again, he suggested that the new act shall also require the creation of a publicly accessible National Contract and Projects Management Register with key features of contracts, projects such as amounts, location, execution time, date of commencement and level of execution, all to deepen good governance.

Prof. Gatsi admonished government and political parties about the Constitution's economic management objectives, which were to maximise the rate of economic development, secure maximum welfare for Ghanaians, secure maximum freedom of Ghanaians and secure maximum happiness of all persons in Ghana.

The rest, he said, included ensuring sound employment for Ghanaians, ensuring access to reasonable livelihood of all Ghanaians and the provision of assistance to the needy.

He further reminded political parties and the government that macroeconomic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) inflation and exchange rate were important, but were not the standards set out in Article 36:1 as the dividend for good economic governance.
“Citizens, especially the youth, should demand accountability on these good governance matters,” he said.